Leave yourself wanting more

Recently we were talking in my critique group about how we write. Some of the members block out hours at a time, others get it in when they can. Me, I like to go out on top, and then come back for encores.

Just like stand up comics, I feel like it's better to go out on a high note. Walk off that stage while the crowd is still roaring with laughter. Whenever I write till my tank hits E and I have to putter off the page, or worse, get out and push my brain, I always feel down about my writing.

I write till I get on a roll, and then I write some more. After I've put in a decent amount of time (whatever I have available really, I try to block out an hour or two if possible), I stop writing. I don't try to reach the end of the chapter, sometimes I don't even reach the end of the sentence I'm typing. I just save and close my manuscript and do something else.

I've found that this works like stepping off a treadmill. My creativity keeps spinning while I do other things. Then later on, when I come back to the manuscript, I've got fuel to keep on typing. It works really well if you're someone like me that isn't able to type for long periods of time due to other responsibilities. This might change in the future, when I get to sit and write full-time for hours, but right now, it's working. I've got six chapters left in my first draft. If I can get it done by the end of the month, I will have written a 250+ page book in three months.

How do you write? Have any strategies for keeping yourself motivated?